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Leapin' Lizardos!

Who could argue that the U.S. is not the cultural factory for the rest of the world? Hip-hop, Hollywood, and hanging ten were all produced on these shores before being exported to the far reaches of the globe. Your average global citizen is much more likely to recognize Jerry Seinfeld than Gérald Depardieu, Madonna than Ayumi Hamasaki. And this isn't a benign exportation, this is cultural imperialism. Many critics of the U.S. have screamed that the "McDonaldization" of their societies is breaking the backbone of traditional cultures and replacing it with a global culture dominated by the richest country on Earth. Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and blue jeans - it's hard to disagree with them.

Enter Omar Lizardo. Though he's not alone, our dear friend disagrees and he recently appeared on a New York progressive radio program to talk about it. You can hear for yourself as Omar takes on the forces of anti-imperialism here (fast-forward to the 40-minute mark, just beyond halfway). I dare say, I don't think Omar supports cultural imperialism, but he does question whether or not it really is happening.

One listener responds, "I could take only about 15 minutes of listening to this guy (Lizardo) before I had to delete the...segment lest I destroy my computer in anger." Read more of that comment and the ensuing discussion here. Finally, read Omar's paper for yourself (mentioned briefly in the New York Times).

Go Omar, go Omar - it's your birthday!